Gas Prices Hurt Drivers’ Pockets, But Optimism Stays

On May 3rd, 2021, gas prices began to rise in the United States. This has caused some panic amongst drivers, all because of the increased activity of Americans; and the recent developments of Russia aren’t helping. According to, gas prices for the past decade in the United States have lingered around 2 dollars a gallon. However, since 2021, gas prices have begun to skyrocket. In the North East states, like New York and Connecticut, gas prices are at an average of $4.50. In the West, like California, it’s up to about $5.75. These changes in gas prices have mixed feelings from a large variety of people. A large reason for this is not only the increase in travel by Americans with the recent relaxation in Covid-19 regulations, but also the fact that the US is trying to help Ukraine by placing sanctions on Russia, one of the largest countries in the oil and gasoline industries.

A lot of people take issue with the increase in gas prices, but most of these same people understand the reasoning behind it, and try to stay positive despite the damage done to their own pockets. In one interview with the sister of Torri-Ann Osbourne, Tracy-Ann Waite said that “It’s a pain. I used to only have to get gas maybe twice a month, and now I have to get gas every week. It went from being about $55 to fill up my tank, and now it’s $75!…” However, despite the display of anger and annoyance, Tracy-Ann says that “I’m trying to keep positive.” This perspective is coming from someone who used to drive alot before working a mail carrier job. Since this recent price increase, she says, “I’m just trying to do my best to not have to drive as much…” Overall, while some people might not see the impact it has on Russia, the impact it has on the people in America is clear.

In another interview with Mr. Callahan, a Journalism and AP Research teacher at AFHHS, he expresses his views on the topic. He says that “I don’t like spending all that money to fill up gas when I’m used to spending a lot less, in one sense. But in the other sense, I feel like in a way, doing our part in a small way to help the Ukrainian people. The reason why we’re paying so much in gas is because we aren’t buying Russian oil, and that’s good because I don’t want to give my money to Russia.” In this interview, the perspective of disliking the gas price change, but being more accepting of it is reiterated. Mr. Callahan makes it clear that these changes are impacting him as well, but he keeps a positive attitude about it. He wants to help Ukraine in any little way he can, and if paying more in gas helps to avoid Russia gaining money from their oil, so be it. 

Lastly, from the perspective of Dean Brown, the academic dean at AFHHS, he brings to light another comparison pertaining to the gas prices. He says that “it’s unfortunate that they are increasingly high, but in a larger context, the prices of gas in America have been relatively low, so prices now are kind of matching historical prices of gas in europe. I also think making sure that we’re not supporting any Russian exports is important.” This reveals that while the support against Russia is the major factor in people’s acceptance of the gas prices, from a historical perspective, it also becomes understandable. He feels like the increase in prices is simply aimed at matching what the prices are in other European countries. 

Overall, the increased and rising gas prices have a large impact on everyone. The opinions of people who are affected by this vary, but the general opinion seems to be that while people don’t like the increased prices, they understand the reasoning behind it, and want to support Ukraine more than spend less on gas, keeping a positive outlook on the whole situation.